Enraged Pokemon trainers tossing aside their smartphones in disgust and picking up a 3DS or dropping their Pokemon Master dreams altogether has been a theme with Pokemon GO since the early days, and it looks like that won’t be changing any time soon. Very soon after the game’s launch, the tracking feature broke entirely, forcing players to wander aimlessly instead of chasing down rare Pokemon. While there were third party mapping services and a broken, partially-working tracker to ease the pain for a while, Niantic quickly put the kibosh on those as well, ensuring that players would grow bored of wading through endless droves of Rattata and Pidgey before long.
While a new tracking system based on nearby PokeStops went live in select markets not long ago, a Niantic spokesperson replied to an inquiry by our source over at Polygon, saying that there is currently “no estimated timeline” for getting that fix out to the rest of the world. For now, the new tracking system is limited to the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area, leaving players in other areas to rely on short-lived trackers based on crowdsourced data, most of which end up attracting Niantic’s attention and getting shut down, or just becoming too hard to maintain after a while. Even with the few mass desertions the playerbase has already suffered through, the valiant PokeFighters left on Team Valor, Team Mystic, and Team Instinct are left looking for answers as the weather gets colder, making wandering about aimlessly less and less tolerable.
The impassioned player base and developers who have tried to fix Niantic’s mistake through the creation of third-party tracking services have mostly all chimed in on the matter at one point or another. The developer of FastPokeMap, for example, wrote a strongly worded and rather dramatic letter, warning Niantic that they should expect a declining and angry player base in the face of how they’ve treated the game thus far. They aren’t the only one, and the tracking system issues haven’t been the only issue. Promised features not coming along in a timely fashion, blocking root users, and poor community engagement have had Pokemon trainers up in arms since the game’s beginning, and this latest issue does not seem to be helping.